In the first phase, 5 radio antennas work in a self-trigger array and we try to better understand the challenges in a self-trigger setup in order to capture radio signals from a cosmic ray candidate event.
In the next phase, few particle detectors will be added to the array to work as an external trigger which will increase the accuracy of the results and provides a hybrid detection of cosmic rays.
Few more radio antennas and the required electronics will also be added to the array to increase the overall detection area and the possibility of detecting lower energies cosmic rays considering the threshold of SURA experiment.
Science goals - First Phase
The first goal was to better understand the radio emission of a cosmic ray through an extensive air shower both theoretically and via computer simulations. For this reason, a substantial amount of computer simulations have been done and a computer program was developed in order to analyze the raw simulated radio data from CoREAS code. Furthermore, comprehensive research was done in order to choose the necessary equipment needed for the first phase of the experiment. This was a real challenge for the group to obtain the required electronics even those that were commercially available. As a result, the process of choosing and acquiring the fundamental parts of the array took a considerable amount of time. Also, the group decided to build some of the necessary parts of the seutp by itself.
As the first radio experiment of cosmic ray in Iran, the procedure of preparing the necessary requirements for the successful deployment of the array was our second goal. For example, the structure of the Inverted-V antenna and the mounting poles for the LPDA antennas needed to be built on the roof of the physics faculty with extreme caution. Furthermore, we managed to investigate a possible area far from the current location of the array for future deployment of the antennas in the next stages of the experiment. Cabling and making a test run of the electronics with all the components of the experiment including a photovoltaic panel which powers the entire setup in a field test and overcome the initial challenges was another goal for this phase of the experiment.
The last but not least goal of this phase was to record and process the radio signals from the antennas and the electronics. In order to achieve this goal, we needed a better understanding of the background noise in the location of the experiment in order to develop a computer program which removes unwanted radio emission while keeping the radio signals that could possibly be a cosmic ray candidate. For this reason, a detailed procedure that we considered will be discussed in the last section of this study.
The first reason is the current challenges in making a self-trigger radio array for detecting cosmic rays. Over the past years, different experiments have shown the possibility of detecting cosmic rays in a self-trigger setup. A claim which is still a subject of scientific discussion and considered to be a hot topic in this field.
Second, was to keep the entire project cost-effective. We decided to start a small project in order to prove the possibility of initiating such an experiment and demonstrate that this prototype will actually achieve its predefined goals.